NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 20010024927: Computations of Boiling in Microgravity
Publication date 2000-12-01
Topics NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), BOILING, CONDUCTIVE HEAT TRANSFER, CONVECTION, TEMPERATURE DISTRIBUTION, GRAVITATION, FLOW DISTRIBUTION, THERMODYNAMICS, NUMERICAL ANALYSIS, MEASURE AND INTEGRATION, INTERFACIAL TENSION, Tryggvason, G., Jacqmin, Dave,
The absence (or reduction) of gravity, can lead to major changes in boiling heat transfer. On Earth, convection has a major effect on the heat distribution ahead of an evaporation front, and buoyancy determines the motion of the growing bubbles. In microgravity, convection and buoyancy are absent or greatly reduced and the dynamics of the growing vapor bubbles can change in a fundamental way. In particular, the lack of redistribution of heat can lead to a large superheat and explosive growth of bubbles once they form. While considerable efforts have been devoted to examining boiling experimentally, including the effect of microgravity, theoretical and computational work have been limited. Here, the growth of boiling bubbles is studied by direct numerical simulations where the flow field is fully resolved and the effects of inertia, viscosity, surface deformation, heat conduction and convection, as well as the phase change, are fully accounted for. Boiling involves both fluid flow and heat transfer and thus requires the solution of the Navier-Stokes and the energy equations. The numerical method is based on writing one set of governing transport equations which is valid in both the liquid and vapor phases. This local, single-field formulation incorporates the effect of the interface in the governing equations as source terms acting only at the interface. These sources account for surface tension and latent heat in the equations for conservation of momentum and energy as well as mass transfer across the interface due to phase change. The single-field formulation naturally incorporates the correct mass, momentum and energy balances across the interface. Integration of the conservation equations across the interface directly yields the jump conditions derived in the local instant formulation for two-phase systems. In the numerical implementation, the conservation equations for the whole computational domain (both vapor and liquid) are solved using a stationary grid and the phase boundary is followed by a moving unstructured two-dimensional grid. While two-dimensional simulations have been used for preliminary studies and to examine the resolution requirement, the focus is on fully three-dimensional simulations. The numerical methodology, including the parallelization and grid refinement strategy is discussed, and preliminary results shown. For buoyancy driven flow, the heat transfer is in good agreement with experimental correlations. The changes when gravity is turned off and/or fluid shear is added are discussed, as well as the difference between simulations of a layer freely releasing bubbles versus simulations using only one wavelength initial perturbation. Figure 1 shows the early stages of the formation of a three-dimensional bubble from a thin vapor layer. The boundary conditions are periodic in the x and y direction, the bottom is a hot and the top allows a free outflow. The jagged edge of the surface close to the bottom of the computational domain is due to some of the surface elements being on the other side of the domain and some elements not plotted by our plotting routine. In the second figure, we show the temperature distribution through two perpendicular planes.
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